Emma’s Cherry

Cliffs

It was probably her own fault: she should never have let Joe make the picnic. If she’d done it herself, she would have made sure that there were even numbers of everything, and there’d have been no trouble later.

But no, he’d insisted, even though he should really have been sorting out the car; that was his job. So they’d driven all the way to Sennen Cove with no windscreen washer, peering through the smeared remains of dead flies.

And, when they sat down for lunch overlooking the sea, there had been one cherry left over.

Joe really was impossible. So polite, yet so clear. “No, you have it, I don’t mind.” That was what he said, while obviously meaning the exact opposite. Emma loved cherries. She really wanted it, but couldn’t possibly take the last one. In the end they had yet another argument, and the cherry remained, uneaten, in its container inside her backpack.

Emma glanced back along the cliff path. He was a few metres behind, looking as smug and intolerable as ever. Even this stupid hike was his idea. Leave the car at the cove and walk, just to save a few quid parking at Lands End itself. Mean bastard.

Up ahead, little brightly coloured dots swarmed about on the headland. But, here on the path, they were all alone; only a few seagulls screeched and swooped around them.

She stopped and looked over the edge at the waves crashing onto the rocks. The smell of the sea – ozone or seaweed or whatever the hell it was – invaded her nostrils, just as Joe caught up with her.

There was no-one watching. She swung the rucksack.

Now she was in heaven: the cherry was hers.

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